Drucker Society fires warning over internet greed


Global management body fires warning over worldwide web being funded by taxpayers for the benefit of a tiny proportion of individuals and businesses

Big data could create incredible wealth for a raft of individuals and companies, yet the biggest gains are being seized by a handful of giants.

That is the view of the Drucker Society Europe.

“Is it right for the financial benefits of the internet to be seized by the 0.1 per cent?” Dr Richard Straub, the society’s president, said “The internet is a common infrastructure, funded by the public sector, that has many characteristics of a public utility. 

“The creative use of personal data by trusted organizations could create trillions in value for individuals, companies and the wider society. However, this will require a much more positive, open and equal approach than that in evidence today.”

The winner-takes-all nature of big data commerce is not in the interests of the public, the society added, leading to imbalance in markets and too much power in the hands of single organizations. “Winner-takes-all after all means monopoly, and monopoly means power,” Straub added. “There are rules about economic monopoly and economic power, although much underused, and they need revisiting, and probably strengthening, in the light of the internet.

“But social regulation can only come from values that are internalized by entrepreneurs and managers. These too need to be revisited and strengthened if managers are to take responsibility for harnessing the cornucopia of available economic and technological possibilities to create a prosperous society.”

The theme of this year’s Drucker Forum is ‘Claiming our Humanity – Managing in the Digital Age’.

“Now is the time to learn how to harness it and to spread the benefits in a more equal and beneficial way generating breakthrough innovation – beyond social media, on-demand platforms and digital transformations focused on efficiency and cost-cutting,” Straub writes. “Making the world a better place means giving new opportunities to enhance and leverage human potential at a vast scale. This is the biggest and largely untapped natural resource that humanity still has. Governments, regulators, civil society and managers must wake up to this secular challenge and this historic opportunity.”

The Drucker Society Europe organizes the annual Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna, which takes place on 5-6 November. For more information please visit